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Max Boot Education. (2013) 'Invisible Armies An Epic History of Guerilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present.'

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Afghanistan 19, Us 10, Algiers 8, Algeria 6, U.s. 4, United States 4, France 4, Washington 4, Iraq 3, Rome 3, Syria 3, Barbarians 3, North America 3, Malaya 3, Bolivia 3, Britain 3, Philippines 2, Asprey 2, Henri 2, Gerald Templer 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Max Boot  Education.  (2013) 'Invisible Armies An Epic  
   History of Guerilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present.'  

    February 18, 2013
    4:30 - 5:30pm EST  

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we have to take responsibility for educating ourselves in our own communities using the means we have of at our disposal. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> tell us what you think about our programming this weekend. you can tweet us @booktv, comment on our facebook wall or send us an e-mail. booktv, nonfiction books every weekend on c-span2. >> max boot presents a history of guerrilla warfare. the author poz its that unconventional warfare, often thought of as a modern means of war, has a long tradition that dates back to antiquity. this is a little under an hour. >> everybody got quiet. good afternoon. welcome to the heritage foundation and to our louis
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lehrman auditorium. we, of course, welcome those who are joining us on our heritage.org web site. for those in-house as we prepare to begin, please, make sure cell phones have been turned off. it is our courtesy our speakers do appreciate. we will post the program within 24 hours on our heritage home page for your further reference as well. hosting our event today is steven bucci. dr. bucci is director of our dougallyson center, he previously served as fellow for defense and homeland security. he is well verse inside the special area operations and cybersecurity areas as well as defense support to civil authorities. he served for three decades as an army special forces officer and top pentagon official. in july 2001 he assumed the duties of military assistant to secretary rumsfeld and worked daily with the secretary for the next five and a half years. and then upon retirement from the army he continued at the
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pentagon as deputy assistant secretary of defense, homeland defense and american security affairs. please join me in welcoming steve bucci. steve? [applause] >> let me add by welcome to all of you -- my welcome to all of you. i think you're going to have a real treat this morning. as john mentioned, i'm a special forces officer by profession, and so this area is near and dear to my heart because this is kind of what we do, or did. they don't let me do it anymore. [laughter] i mentioned to max when he came in a little historical artifact in that when i was a cadet at west point, i bought a book that had just been published. it was a two-volume set. it was called "war in the shadows: the guerrilla in history" by robert asprey. that book from 1975 til now really has been the sort of
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benchmark for this kind of historical review of this subject area. that's a long time for a book to keep that sort of position. well, with apologies to mr. asprey, i think his book is being replaced now, and max has done that with this book which is on sale outside, "invisible armies." he, i think, has set the new benchmark for this subject area. his book is very, very comprehensive, but -- and it's somewhat chronological but not entirely. and it's somewhat regional but not entirely, and it's somewhat not functional is the right word, but topical but not entirely. that sounds like it's not organized well. i don't want to give you that impression. it works very well, it flows well. max is a really, really fine
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writer, and i say that from the standpoint of a reader. it's very easy to read in a way that sometimes historical works are not. so i would recommend it highly. what we're going to do this morning is when i get done introducing him, max is going to give some opening remarks for a little bit, then we're going to open it up to questions and answers when he's done with his prepared remarks. i will come back up and play moderator. i will tell you now when you ask a question, i'd like you to stand up, identify yourself very briefly, and if by the end of the second sentence i don't hear a question mark, i'm going to ask you to sit down very politely because the object of this exercise is for you to ask questions and draw from max's knowledge and from information he presents about the book, not to give a speech. if you want to give a speech, come see me afterwards, we'll see what we can arrange to get you your own program.
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but that's where we're going this morning. for those of you that don't know, max boot is one of of america's leading historians in military history and one of our best historical writers. he is presently the jeanne j. kilpatrick so many for foreign relations, he continues to write extensively in the weekly standard, los angeles times, he's a regular contributor to "the new york times," "wall street journal." he's been an editor and a journalist for "the wall street journal", for christian science monitor. he's written two other major books in the past that are of interest to me, "the savage wars of peace: small wars and the rise of american power" and "war made new: technology, warfare and the course of history,
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1500-today." max tends to write, like, really big books. and this morning he's going to talk to us about his latest, "invisible armies." with that, turn it over to you, max. [applause] >> thank you very much, steve, for that warm and generous introduction, and thank you also for your many decades of service and, indeed, i see a lot of folks here who are either current active duty or retired military, and i thank all of you for your years of service to the nation. what i'm here to talk about today is the contents of my new book which, as steve mentioned, is a history of ger or ril la warfare. and although it may seem thick and daunting at first glance, i did try to tell a good story. it's sort of encapsulated, 5,000 years of guerrilla warfare history into one book. now, that may seem like a
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formidable upside taking, but here today in front of your very eyes, i'm going to try to encapsulate the entire book into about a 2546 minute talk -- 25-minute talk. [laughter] so that's going to work out to about 200 years per minute. sofassen your seat belts -- fasten your seat belts. what i'm first going to do is talk about the origins of guerrilla warfare, then i'm going to talk about how to counter guerrilla warfare and finally, i'm going to conclude why it's important we figure out how to counter guerrilla warfare. the question i'm most often asked is what's the first guerrilla war. and the answer is, guerrilla warfare is as old as mankind itself. it's impossible to say when the first guerrilla war took place because that is, essentially, tribal war. tribal warriors going back to the dawn of mankind have been fighting with hit-and-run
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tactics. they've been staging ambushes, attacking villages and fleeing before main forces can arrive. they don't stand toe to toe the way we imagine conventional armies should. so in essence, tribal warriors have been taking part in guerrilla warfare for countless years. by contrast, counterinsurgency warfare and conventional warfare are both relatively recent inventions. they were only made possible by the rise of the first city-stateses in mesopotamia about 5,000 years ago. by definition you could not have a conventional army without a state. and so until you had states, you had no conventional armies which had officers and enlisted ranks and a bureaucracy and logistics and all these other things that we associate with conventional armed forces. but guess what? as soon as you had the very first city-states in mesopotamia, they were immediately being attacked by nomads from the persian
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highlands. essentially, guerrillas. and so from the very start organized militaries have always spent a lot of their time fighting unconventional, irregular warfare. and you know what? those terms don't make a heck of a lot of sense. that's one of the big takeaways that i had from doing six years of reading and research for this book. the way we think about this entire subject is all messed up. we think that somehow conventional warfare is the norm, that the way you ought to fight is to have these conventional armies slugging it out in the open. but the reality is those have always been the exception. just think about the more modern world. what was the last conventional war that we saw? this is a hard question to answer because, in fact, it was the russian invasion of georgia in 2008 which didn't last very long. and yet all over the world today there are people who are dying in war whether it's in afghanistan or mali or syria or congo or myanmar, colombia, many other countries. all these people are victims.
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they're being ravaged by unconventional warfare. but the term, as i say, is off. because this is, in fact, the norm. we have to adjust our thinking, flip our thinking 360 degrees and understand that unconventional warfare is the dominant face of warfare, always has been, always will be. every great power throughout history, every great jenin colluding the great generals of antiquity had to deal with the threat of unconventional warfare. including, of course, the greatest army of all, the roman legions, a pretty formidable force even when they were not led by russell crowe. [laughter] they bested every, every power in their neighborhood. but rome, as we also know, was ultimately brought down, sacked in the fifth century. and what was responsible for the downfall of rome? well, rome was much like the united states in that it did not have great power rivals. it was not surrounded by great
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states other than the path onor persian empire. ultimately, it was basically surrounded by those that it labeled as barbarians. and how did the barbarians fight? well, they did not have organized militaries. they did not have centaur yangs, they did not have the infrastructure of roman legions. they fought in a very different style. and yet, ultimately, they were successful. the fall of rome was precipitated by the invasion of europe in the fourth century by a fierce group of warriors known as the huns. and a fourth century historian, a roman historian, left a very interesting and perceptive description of how the huns fought. he said: they are very quick in their operations, of exceeding speed and fond of surprising their enemies. they suddenly disperse and reunite and, again, after having inflicted vast loss upon the enemy, scatter themselves over the whole plain in irregular
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formations, always avoiding a fort or an entrenchment. now, think about that description. that sounds a lot like guerrilla warfare to me. and that's, essentially, what the huns were practicing under their formidable leader, attila the hun. they were masters of guerrilla warfare such that they pushed tribes further west into the roman empire and led to the collapse of the greatest empire in antic antiquity. in many ways, there's truly nothing new under the sun by -- about the threat posed by guerrillas. the fact that the u.s. army and marine corps and other modern militaries including the french have to deal with the threat today is absolutely unsurprising. but i don't mean to suggest that absolutely nothing has changed over the course of the last 5,000 years. there have, in fact, been some significant changes. the biggest one has to do with the power of public opinion and propaganda. and this was something that was
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demonstrated in our very own war of independence. now, when we think of the american war of independence, we tend of think of battles like lexington and concord where the yankees slithered on their bellies and shot at the redcoats from behind trees and rocks in ways that the redcoats assumed to be ungentlemanly. now, these were, no doubt, effective tactics. but in the end what's striking to me about studying the american revolution is the extent to which it was decided not so much by what happened on the battlefield, but what actually happened in the house of parliament, in the commons in england. now, when you read conventional accounts, if i may use that word, of the american revolution, they usually conclude with the battle of yorktown in 1781 at which lord cornwallis surrendered about 7,000 troops to general washington, and there is no doubt this was a massive setback for the british war effort. but the fact remains that even
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surrendering 7,000 troops to washington, the british still had tens of thousands more troops in north america. and they could have summoned tens of thousands more troops from other parts of the empire if they had decided to do so. but they were not able to do so because of the power of a new force in insurgent warfare, a term that was only coined, fatefully, in 1776 the power of public opinion. now, if the founding fathers had been battling not the british empire, but the roman empire, i can assure you that the romans -- no matter how many battlefield defeats they would have suffered, would have come back, and george washington and the founders would have been crucified quite literally. the fact that this did not happen is because of what happened in an institution that the romans did not really have to worry about, at least not after the rise of the empire, and that was the house of commons, parliament. because if 1782, a year after --
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in the year after the battle of yorktown, there was a very close vote in the house of commons to discontinue offensive operations in north america. the vote was 234-215. it was a nail biter. but because lord north, who was the hardline prime minister who wanted to prosecute the war against the american rebels, he lost that vote and, therefore, he had to resign office. and lord rockingham and his wicks who were commit today a policy of conciliation with their american brothers took off office. and that, i would submit to you, was truly where the american revolution was won. and that was something the founding fathers were very well aware of. they tried very hard to influence public opinion not only in the american colonies, but also in great britain. when you think about documents such as thomas paine's "common sense" or our very own declaration of independence, as much as anything these were propaganda weapons used against
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the british, and they had their impact over the course of several long years of war. they wore down the british will to fight and ultimately resulted in this vote to discontinue the war in north america. now, that's something new in warfare. that's something that was completely different. that was something that, you know, the huns and the romans did not have to worry about the power of pluck opinion, but all of a sudden now with the rise of democracy, with the spread of media, that becomes a major force. and, in fact, many others in the future would seek to emulate what the american rebels did including some such as the viet cong or the iraqi or afghan insurgents who have tried to use the power of propaganda and public opinion against us. all these factors are especially important in the theories of mao say tongue who was one of the great, of course, and most influential theorists of
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guerrilla warfare that there ever was, and he had a very different view of guerrilla warfare than that as practiced by the nomadic warriors of old. he wrote an incredibly influential book in 1938 called unprotracted warfare which he wrote sitting in a cave in northern china after the long march, working so intently that he didn't notice that a fire from a candle was burning a hole in his sock. and what mao emphasized is has ea famously -- he famously said, the people are like wear water, and the army is like fish. he said it was essential to keep the closest possible relations with the common people, that a guerrilla force had to be extremely cognizant of earning the support of the public upon whom-operating. he gave instructions to his soldiers to be courteous and polite and establish latrines a safe distance from people's houses. now believe me, this was not
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something the huns worried about thousands of years before. their idea of public relations was simply killing as many people as they possibly could as gruesomely as they possibly could. but mao understand in this new age you had to pay attention to public opinion, and that's something that has been incredibly influential ever since. it's especially been influential, even more so, with terrorist organizations. because terrorism as the anarchists said in the 19th century is propaganda by the deed. even more than guerrilla warfare, terrorism is really about selling a public relations point. in fact, osama bin laden -- obviously, the most famous terrorist of our age -- went so far as to say that the media war is 90% of waging jihad. he placed the emphasis not on battlefield attacks, but on the perception that he could foster among his enemies. now, the very fact that mealed ya has become so important --
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media has become so important, public opinion has become so important butts a great finish puts a great power like the united states, especially a great democratic power like the united states at a disadvantage. you know, something very interesting comes out when you look at what's changed in guerrilla warfare. and as part of this book we did a database of insr. general says -- insurgencies since 1775 which is included as an appendix, and what we found is that the win rate for insurgents has gone up since 1945. prior to 1945 the insurgents won about 20% of their wars. since 1945 tear winning about 40% of their wars. so the win rate for insurgents has roughly doubled. and what accounts for that? i would argue it's the power of public opinion and propaganda, the ability of even relatively weak groups to bring down stronger adversaries by martialing public opinion against them. that's something that all insurgents try to do these days and sometimes very successfully.
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but there is a danger here, and we should not swing too far from one extreme to the other. we should not, we should not underestimate the power of guerrillas, but nor should we overestimate the power of guerrillas and terrorists. because they are not invincible. and i think there has been a fallacy and a tendency in the post-world war ii era to focus on a handful of successes, the maos and the ho chi minhs and to think, wow, these guerrillas are 10-foot-tall superhumans. they could not possibly be defeated. that's, in fact, not the case. because if you go back to the figure i cited to you, even if insurgents are winning roughly 40% of their wars, that means they're losing 60%. and the reality is just as most business start-ups don't become apple or microsoft, so most insurgent groups don't become the viet cong or the chinese red army. and to make that point, i would refer you to one of the most
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famous insurgents of all time, kay get vera, who once used to awe dohrn every -- adorn every dorm room wall in the world. [laughter] he became a legend because of the success he and fidel castro had in the 1950s. a very impressive campaign. but it was made possible by the fact that batista had lost the support of the entire society, and that's why castro with only a few hundred followers was able to overthrow this state that was defended by tens of thousands of soldiers who had american-supplied aircraft and tanks and all sorts of heavy armor. they were incredibly successful in cuba. but when che got a little cocky and decided to try to export the cuban revolution, it didn't work out so well for him. what he tried to do in 1966 is he went to bolivia. but what he discovered in bolivia was not a country with an unpopular dictator. what he discovered was a country that had a popularly-elected
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president. and he did not have much success in trying to change the nature of bolivian politics because che had no legitimacy because he came in as this outsider, originally this argentinean who became a cuban citizen coming in from the outside with a handful of followers that didn't even speak the languages of the local indians. in fact, che's best friend when he was in bolivia was his mule, chico. [laughter] so it's no surprise that by 1967 he was hunted down by these guys, the bolivian army rangers, trained by u.s. army special forces. and this is how che wound up, with his corpse being poked at by his enemies. so even this icon of revolution, he could be defeated and killed. i don't want to hear anybody suggest that it's impossible to defeat any group of insurgents. you can do it, you just have to
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have the right strategy. well, the question is, what is the right strategy? there have been many different approaches, but essentially they come down to either what i would call scorches earth or -- scorched earth or what is often known today as hearts and minds. and there was kind of a controlled experiment that was unwittingly run by two of the great nations of europe, britain and france, in the is 1950s to show which of these approaches is more success. because britain and france were each fighting counterinsurgencies in different colonies on different sides of the world. the french were fighting in algeria from 1954 to 1962. the british were fighting in malay ya from 1948 to 1960. and they adopted very different methods of fighting with the french exemplifying the scorched earth approach and the british exemplifying the
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population-centric approach. now, what are the scorched earth approach -- what does the scorched earth approach mean in practice? well, we found out from the -- if you want to find out, one good way of doing it is by simply renting this wonderful movie, "the battle of algiers," which i would recommend to anybody because it's actually pretty accurate. and what it depicts is what happened in 1957 when the french tried to break up an insurgent cell in the city of algiers which was planting bombs that were killing civilians and especially european civilians. what they did was they rounded up tens of thousands of muslim men in the cat pa, the native quarter of algiers, and they sent them in for interrogation to find out what they knew. how did the interrogation process work? well, we know because of what happened to this gentleman, hepperi -- henri, a treason. jew who ran a republican
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newspaper in algiers. and it was for this sin that he was picked up by paratroopers from the tenth parachute division in 1957. and he was taken to an interrogation center. now, we all know about medieval instruments of torture like the rack or the iron maiden. but henri was to discover a newfangled, a modern instrument of torture which was french slang for this hand-cranked dynamo which has, as you can see, two clips, and you attach the clips to the appendages of whoever you're interrogating. then you turn that crapg, and the faster you turn, the more electricity comes out. so what with happened to henri? well, he was taken to this interrogation center by the paratroopers, he was stripped, he was put on a wooden board, strapped in with leather straps, and he had initially the clips applied to his ear and to his finger. and what he later wrote of his
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experience was that a flash of lightning exploded next to my ear, and i felt my heart racing in my breast. i struggled, screaming. but he did not give up the information the paratroopers wanted. and so then they took one of the clips off of his ear and attached it to his penis, and he wrote that my body shook with nervous shocks getting stronger in intensity. but this newspaper editor was tough. he still did not give up the information the paratroopers were demanding. so they dragged him off the table using his tie knotted around his neck as a leash, and after beating him savagely with their fists, they tied him to a board and subjected him to what the paratroopers called -- [inaudible] french slang for a practice that we know as waterboarding. and he said i had the impression of drowning, and a terrible agony of death itself took possession of me. after this ordeal he was
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dragged, still naked, thrown into a cell on a mattress stuffed with barbed wire and left to spend the night listening to the thuds and the screams resonating around the interrogation center. now, that's a very tough approach to doing counterinsurgency. now, we sometimes hear that torture doesn't work. well, don't you believe it. however morally questionable or reprehensible it may be, it can be tactically effective and, in fact, it was tactically effective for the french in the battle of algiers. within nine months they had managed to get all the insurgent leaders to rat each other out. they had rolled up the entire network in algiers, and by the end of 1957 algiers was safe. so you could argue in a tactical sense, in a tactical sense the french had won the battle of algiers. the problem was the publicity that attended their practices. and they could not keep secret
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the way they were treating detainees. hepperi, for example, was for some inexplicable reason allowed to live after his interrogation as many detainees were not, and he wrote a book called "the question" which became a bestseller in france. and there were others who spilled the beans on what was happening in algeria, and that caused a huge public backlash around the world, and ultimately, it was that backlash that cost france the algerian war. by 1962 they had to grant algeria independence. and so the tactics, the scorched earth tactics backfired and led to eventual defeat in algeria. now, on the other side of the world at virtually the same time, the british were fighting their own counterinsurgency in malaya. and the war effort there starting in 1952 was led by this man, general sir gerald templer who should not be confused with this man, the actor david niven,
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for whom he is a dead ringer. so this man -- not this man, but this man -- was the british commander in malaya and when he arrived in 1952, he found a deeply entrenched insurgency. the one in malaya was being waged by the malayan race's liberation army, one of many communist groups that were trying to take over in the postwar period. they dynamited trains, they even killed the previous high commissioner. in fact, gerald templer drove from the airport in the very same rolls royce in which his predecessor had been shot to death a few months before. that must have been a chilling experience. so it would have been very understandable if you should those circumstances general templer had resorted to absolute savagery to try to terrorize the population into acquiescence. but that's not what he did, because he understood the key to success was not terrorizing the
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population, it was securing the population. and he went about it in a variety of ways. one of his most effective programs was setting up what were known as new villages because he understood that the heart of the communist appeal lay among the chinese squatters, roughly half a million of them, who were not citizens of malayy, who had no fields to work, no real job, and they were a prime breeding ground for insurgency. and so what he did was he relocated them to hundreds of these new villages where they would have fields to work, where they would have medical clinics, schools, and, oh, by the way, they would also have fences and armed guards around them to keep them away from the insurgents. ..
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this indus grumet jongh slash schenck in search of insurgence that is the u.s. armed forces would later do in vietnam. instead what he did is emphasized the gathering of intelligence and he placed the emphasis on expanding special branch on expanding actionable intelligence and sending specially trained units of knowledge with where the insurgents were hiding to get their hideouts. he then reported the headhunters back to the trackers but ultimately the general knew that it all came back to the population. they were the very famous sayings. he said the shooting site of the business is only 25% of the trouble and allies in getting the people behind us.
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he also said the answer lies not importing more troops into the jungles but in the hearts and minds of the people. that is a free must delete the famous phrase that has become iconic and understood by hearts and minds we aren't going to hand out a lot of goodies to the people. we are going to control the people and first of all, it requires establishing security for the people, which he certainly did what it also requires having some legitimacy to make the people of acquiesce to what the security forces are doing and the most powerful weapon in the arsenal was the promise of independence because he told the people if you help us to forget the communist insurgency, we will make you free, we will make you an independent nation and that is exactly what he did. this isn't something the french understood in algeria because they were trying in to fight for the continuation of the french colonial empire and not surprisingly there were not a
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lot who were eager to fight for the continued role. so templar got it, the french didn't. he understood the importance of legitimacy in any kind insurgency and that is something that is also proven crucially important in recent years in places such as northern ireland or columbia or iraq where you've seen substantial success many of them followed a pretty closely on the playbook combining security and legitimacy to create winning formula was clyde the appeal of insurgence. this isn't just a matter of historical interest because in fact then just as insurgency has always been a dominant form of warfare it remains so today and it's something we have to worry about as the attack of the consulate in what benghazi have last year should remind us this isn't a threat that is going away despite the death of osama bin laden. in many ways i hate to say it but it could get worse because
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one of the major trends over the last 100 or so years is the firepower available to the insurgents has been increasing. a century ago the western armies battled insurgents who had nothing more than a few rusty russ goetz and a bow and arrows. today there is no corner of the world so remote they don't have access to in ak-47 explosive, very, very hard to deal with even though they are pretty basic infantry weapons. what does the future hold? unfortunately we have to contemplate the possibility that in surgeons can get their hands on weapons of mass destruction and we may not have george clooney and around to save us. i don't mean to be overly alarmist but this is something we have to think about very seriously and what would happen if they did get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction? this is a map that comes from a
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magazine that you are avid readers of called the international journal of geographics. you can check out your copy at home when you leave here today. what it demonstrates is what would happen if a nuclear device for to go off in downtown manhattan. the device as i am sure many of you know isn't very big it's about the same size as the one that front-end nagasaki. the arsenals of the united states and russia are full of many weapons many times bigger than this. but this is a very rough and ready with a time that wouldn't be hard for the iranians or the north koreans are pakistanis or others to design so what would happen if one of these was popped off in downtown manhattan? the map shows with certain assumptions about other factors with the devastation would be and of course it's worse around ground zero and it's getting a little bit better as you go
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further out but the estimate in the scientific journal is that this relatively small nuclear device would injure about 1.6 million people and kill over 600,000 people just from being set off in lower manhattan and of course you would see similar devastation if one were to be set out in washington. i don't mean to alarm anybody here but i think we need to think about these kind of dangerous because they are not going away and knows the program accelerates and as pakistan destabilizes, these are possibilities we have to think very hard about. roma was brought down by barbarians. we have to be careful that we ourselves are not brought down by barbarians, and i think the first offense is to understand the nature of the problem and that's what i try to contribute to with this book is to show the kind of strategies that insurgents have been employed as allows the strategies that were used to counter them this is something we need to think about. insurgency isn't going away even after we are out of afghanistan
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this will remain the number one threat that we face. thank you. [applause] okay, ladies and gentlemen. we will now take questions. we have folks with microphones. please, raise your hand and acknowledge the folks with the microphone and then identify yourself. all right, there we go. >> where does the rule all fit into this? >> the world all can be an important part of establishing legitimacy because as i said, it's hard to win with this strategy even when you are willing to be as brutal as the nazis they didn't manage to pacify the balkans in world war
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ii even if you are willing to be as cruel as the soviets the didn't manage to pass it by afghanistan the 1980's even though they were willing to kill a million people because they offered nothing positive about and the people of afghanistan must support them. they offered nothing but death and desolation and that wasn't a winning strategy. that's something people respond positively to the and if they see that the soldiers around them are enforcing all rather than preying upon the man stealing from them and reading their daughters if they see it the soldiers are upholding all they will be much more likely to support the soldiers, so applying the rules will is actually on a barge to a crucial element of successful counter insurgency.
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>> dtca how we do this cheap and easy. we've done this now twice in iraq and afghanistan during periods of counterinsurgency, even after some of the immediate threat for taken down followed by extensive amounts of nation-building etc.. we get to do that every time or is there a cheaper and easier way to do this? >> well, ideally you won't have to wage a counterinsurgencies by sending hundreds of thousands of troops to the foreign land. you would be able to partner with troops and their own countries to enable them to get better which is something we've done with a degree of success in countries such as colombia and the philippines we have seen that backfired where it turned out the troops wound up overthrowing the government. but to my mind, a great template as how to do this successfully
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comes from somebody that we tend to forget these days but we should remember the quiet american who was once a legendary figure he was a former advertising man who joined the air force and the cia and was sent to the philippines and 1940's when they were facing the rebellion, one of the major communist uprising of the post world period and what he did was he didn't send an army to back them up she simply drove out into the boondocks to get to know the people of the philippines he didn't send the embassy like so many officials today he went out to figure out what was going on into the most important thing he did is identified a great leader that could lead the philippines out of this with some support and that was from a filipino center when they encountered him. he pushed to make first the defense minister and then the president and he was a great
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leader that rooted out a lot of the corruption which was causing people to turn away from the government. he ended the brutality on the part of the filipino army which was causing the villagers to flee into the hands. he established clean elections and basically took away all of the eddy logical appeal that they could possibly have. this was an incredibly effective strategy and something we need to think about today because for example, in afghanistan i think afghanistan suffered over the course of the last decade by not having great leadership, not having the rule all. afghanistan however is going to have another election in 2014 and we have a huge stake in the outcome who's going to succeed hamid karzai? is it going to be somebody as weak and pliable as karzai or somebody who will be honest and a true leader that the people of
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afghanistan can respect? i would suggest to you we need our modern day lansdale who can understand the situation in afghanistan with the trust and loyalty and find an honest man and if they do exist even in afghanistan find an honest man and promote him as much as possible into the office of the presidency because that kind of leadership can be worth more than entire divisions of american troops. >> wanted to return to the point you made a few seconds ago about rule of law debating whether it is the argued rule of law or the public view of the rule of law and how that is what we see right now which is in her mali because you have organizations like the al qaeda and the islamic mog read that portray themselves as the role of all
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organization they claim as more appropriate to the region obviously that involves cutting people's hands of and carrying down seven the question becomes is that a universal rule all that is humane or should we just accept what they are saying is a world law might have to go another way because they portray themselves as a organization. >> what we found in recent years is that when you have these fundamental group's takeover areas and try to impose their will love all, it's extremely puritanical and makes the puritans look like easy-going vacationers by comparison. when they try to impose the code even die-hard very conservative muslim areas that proves very
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unpopular. that's why al qaeda and iraq suffered a backlash in 2007 because the people of anbar province didn't like to be ruled by people that said they would be executed for smoking a cigarette. that's where the taliban were not hard to overthrow in 2001 because the people of afghanistan turned against this code the taliban were trying to impose and this is in iraq and afghanistan hardly the most cosmopolitan countries in the world. today i suspect you see much the same thing happened where they tried to impose a very brutal quote and i suspect it's not proving very popular. however, the reason these groups can have the appeal is because there's not a good alternative, and the problem that we face for example in afghanistan is that brutal and unpopular as they are the government has often been worse because the government hasn't delivered any kind of justice. what the government delivers is a decision that goes to the highest bid so as bad as the
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taliban maybe they are less corrupt and you won't get a more or less honest judgment out of them that will then be enforced to the barbaric severity. that's not the ideal people want but it may be better than the alternative and so i think the challenge we face in the countries such as mali or elsewhere is to try to build up dimond fundamentalist institutions of government and rule of law but will in fact deliver a modicum of justice which is what the people want to but not to do it with a kind of barbaric severity. if we can do that i think we will be successful. >> the gentleman down there. >> what about the success of? >> it's interesting what's
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happened because as the media has grown the strategies are becoming less successful. these days to can only work in places where nobody's paying attention so it worked in sri lanka in putting down the tigris pitting it worked because the attention was now focused on was happening there but look out what happened in libya. gadhafi was trying to put down in his style and he didn't repeat this time however because the world that in news media and the united states and all these international organizations focused on what he was doing it before he could come in and torch speed and kill all of the rebels we intervened to stop that. now in the case of syria, we haven't intervened, but certainly other outside powers have and they have been able to get support for example from the gulf states which keeps them from being simply swept off the
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board. he gets support from iran so at the moment the war is more or less stalemated because both sides have some degree of support but it's not overwhelming. she's very unpopular but the insurgents haven't been able to push him out all the way. but this goes back to the point i was making earlier about the importance of legitimacy i would say for most lacks legitimacy especially for the sunni majority of the country because he is part of a minority. however he does have support in the community and he does have support among some of the other minorities because they are afraid of what would happen if they were to takeovers of he's able to claim the power with a small degree of almost no but a small degree of legitimacy left. the rebels in turn are arguably forfeiting some of their legitimacy by some of their excesses' and by allowing the extreme islamists to take a prominent role in the ranks. so the conflict is stalemated but this is a classic insurgency
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and counter insurgency which i suspect at the end of the day will end as a victory for the insurgency. the problem is what is the country going to look like after words, that's what we have to look at because the governments are not that hard to overthrow. what's hard is to establish the stability afterwards. that is the big challenge where we struggle in iraq and afghanistan and we are going to struggle even more in syria. >> thank you very much. i'm a freelance writer. i worked on the romney campaign mitt romney talks in the book of soft power and he mentions as a weapon we can use against al qaeda. we send a lot of money to foreign countries and we are sending money to help hospitals where al qaeda gets all the credit for helping the community
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and we are stuck in the back to combat the insurgency. it's mind-boggling how many tens of billions of dollars we've wasted in countries like iraq and afghanistan building white elephant projects of no earthly use and actually battling the insurgency you're not in control of that area of the other side is going to claim credit for it and so if you build stuff in the city but you don't control sadr city, guess what, they are going to claim credit but a large part of is if you don't have security it doesn't matter how much people like you they aren't
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going to come over to your side if they aren't going to get killed for doing that they are not suicidal because they love the water treatment plant a lot of men with guns on the street 24/7 is the realization you can't do drive-by is you have to control the neighborhood and protect the people and at that point they are going to be willing to come to your side and it won't be helpful without some jobs programs with the unemployed young men to work so they are not planning the bombs that at the end of the day it comes down to security and legitimacy and a lot of runaway spending on public-works projects isn't going to win a lot of counterinsurgencies. >> in the back the gentleman in the first row. the one behind you and then we
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will probably be out of time. >> i'm a member of heritage in 2006 and 2008i was wondering if you could comment on some of the internal conflicts that we experienced on the strategy going forward because i know for instance being a part and being responsible for the same area that may be a conventional brigade would handle to deal with the battle station and different places and very different approaches to counter insurgency in each one so there is that aspect of it but there's also the special forces we kind of take ownership from the counterinsurgency and it seems that especially towards the later days of iraq and afghanistan we were kind of pushed to the back of the rooms are just wondered if you have any comments on that. >> let me reiterate what i said earlier which is thank you for your service and the service of so many others in this room.
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to answer your question, it is a good one because you are right that traditionally the army special forces have taken the lead role in the unconventional warfare and dealing with the gorillas and acting as themselves. the conventional army, the big army has been very resistant to that kind of mission and we have paid i think a very heavy price in the recent military history for that resistance because we've run into vietnam with a fairly arrogant attitude on the part of some such as u.s. army chief of staff in the early 1960's who famously said any good soldier can handle carless, the notion african fight the red army we don't have to worry about them but in fact they fight in a very different matter and the same armed forces that were locked will end up losing to the vietcong. along the way however i think the army and the marine corps
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colonel of valuable lessons so that by the end of the war they were pretty formidable counterinsurgency they knew what they were doing. the tragedy is what happened afterwards because then the counter insurgency manuals were thrown in the wastepaper basket and they said we are done with that. we never want to do this again let's get back to fighting the army so when they went into afghanistan and iraq, not talking about the special forces, the army wasn't well-prepared and i think that we paid a heavy price for the fact we didn't even have the army marine field counter insurgency until the end of 2006. along the way getting back to what i said a second ago, the army is an adaptive learning organization that can figure out what's going on, and along the way of these junior officers figured out what to do. they didn't have a manual they just figured it out and along the way the marine corps think in the last decade has become the finest counter insurgency force the world has ever seen.
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what these officers are able to do in the field is mind-boggling because they are manipulating so many different lines operations to get the effect they want. they are incredibly good at doing this kind of stuff which is a lot harder than just fleeing down the present is. you have to a line goes to a very specific cultural context and they understand that concept in a way they didn't at the beginning of the war. my concern is what's going to happen now that we are out of iraq and about to get out of afghanistan i share a lot of people in the army saying thank goodness that's over with. we never want to do that again. let's get back to there's no red army. we will fight somebody like the red army of the would be obliged enough to come out. well i wish there were people, more leaders out there as stupid as saddam hussein but i am concerned there might not be because you know he was very obliging twice the increase tank armies in the desert with flags on them and hit me science so we
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can annihilate them. i'm concerned there may not be other leaders like that or willing to do that. in fact i suspect our adversaries have learned from the experience they wound up getting killed for his troubles and so i suspect around for a series have learned that it's smarter to fight for the regular tactic and so my concern is that is what we are going to see more of in the future and i'm very worried that the army and the marine corps are going to be in for a big nasty surprise the next time they are asked to fight the unconventional warfare because their right to forget the lessons that they have learned of such great cost over the last decade. >> i'm sorry and going to change my mind because we are running out of time to mail i want to ask max to the closing and then i would like you to stay in place for a second and let him get out the door because he is willing to stay for a couple minutes to sign some books that he has another appointment it is time sensitive. so i give you the final two minutes to wrap it up and leave
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us with closing costs. >> i would like to leave you with what i started with which is by reminding you that the way that we think about the unconventional warfare is all messed up, that it is the norm, it isn't going away and we better be ready for it and to reiterate what i just said we will pay heavy price if we are not ready to read our enemies are thinking and adapting to new ways to attack us and the aren't going to do it on the conventional battlefield standing toe to toe with the final their grain to attack our weak spots with its bid to be using weapons of mass destruction, using cyber weapons, staging all sorts of terrorist plots and hit and run hostage takings in places like algeria this is what the warfare is all about. we are never going to achieve a idea of conventional warfare because there's been very few of those throughout history and they will not be in the future so like it or not, we better get
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ready which i suspect the future is great to look like the past which means there's great be a lot of unconventional warfare in our future. [applause] estimate according to the author, the party is over. how the republicans went crazy and the middle class got shot dead. how did the republicans go crazy? >> well, they got crazy when they became kind of an apocalyptic cult that lived in its own bubble, and i think we have seen that in the last election they simply couldn't believe the public poll what they were saying that obama was probably going to win and that most democratic senate candidates were going to win.
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they were shellshocked if they couldn't sort of accept empirical reality they are going to be in big trouble in the succeeding elections. >> the democrats became useless? >> they've become useless and that they become the kind of party of me to but less and after the three successive losses in the presidential election in the 80's they kind of retooled and became a more friendly. and many people think, and i happen to be one of them for all but obama has excoriated as this kind of muslim women and socialist at once, she is pretty much fulfilled the george bush's third determine the national security matters.
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>> how does the middle class figure in the visas? >> they are the ones that got shafted because there was a bipartisan move. clinton was president, the republicans mainly were running congress when we had things like nafta, china most favored nation status, the wto, the world trade organization, all of these trade deals people claimed were going to bring jobs to the united states, and in every case the jobs left.